Minh Son graduated from the College of Fine Arts in Hanoi in 2001 and continues to live and work in Hanoi. His newest paintings feature close in views of buildings and streets primarily shown in muted shades of black, white and gray with vibrant accents. The accents, often floral or inanimate objects, bring life, energy and joy to his work. His traditional paintings use vibrant surreal colors to express landscapes. In both styles, he skillfully uses texture and light to add depth, dimensionality and dynamism to his pieces.
Landscape as a painting genre has been popular since the impressionists and viewers connect with them easily. Perhaps because they are seen as decorative, many contemporary artists have shied away from them. Minh Son, a painter of portraits, still life, abstracts, and more has settled on landscapes (for now) as a way to share his creative and unique views of Vietnam. He often uses brilliant unrealistic colors in his village and countryside paintings and tends toward mono-chromatic with a splash of color in his city scenes.
Minh Son uses oil paints with knives, brushes and drawing instruments to create numerous color, line, rhythm, and textural effects. Each of his paintings is unique. His use of color is bold, bringing brilliant yellows, reds, greens, and blues to express the scenes – his paintings bring viewers to vistas hundreds of meters wide, absolutely brimming with color. Up close, his detailed brush and knife work are full of technical expertise.
In painting the landscapes of Vietnam, Minh Son synthesizes common and familiar features of the Vietnamese countryside - thatched roofs, boats, rivers, trees, bridges, villages, temples and ancient gates. Rarely does he add people, instead focusing on the scene, allowing the viewers to imagine the life of the idyllic, quiet, industrious people of Vietnam. His paintings reflect how the landscapes speak to his soul, rather than the exact features and objects of an area.
Since 2006, Nguyen Minh Son has had numerous solo exhibitions showcasing his landscapes in Vietnam, the US, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan and his paintings have found their way into collections around the world.